U.S. agent based in Toronto to track guns

Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

TORONTO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. agent Peter Forcelli will be coordinating gun-trafficking investigations involving Canada and the United States from Toronto, officials said.

Toronto police estimate 70 percent of guns seized after crimes in Canada were smuggled from the United States, the reason the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has an agent in Toronto.

For the past seven years it has been Regina Lombardo, but recently Forcelli, 47, whose career with the ATF began in 2001, took over the post, the Toronto Star reported Monday.

"There's been a lot of rival gang activity happening [in Toronto] this past summer," Lombardo said. "If they are U.S.-sourced weapons, that's where our involvement comes in."

"Many of the states that are sources for firearms in Canada are also sources for firearms in New York City," Forcelli said.

Forcelli was among the agents who identified Operation Fast and Furious, the botched sting operation designed to track weapons planted with low-end criminals in Mexican drug cartels, and testified before Congress last year, the newspaper said.

Last year 1,184 requests were submitted in Canada to help learn a weapon's history, from its first purchaser to its involvement in a crime, the newspaper said.

"Our job is to follow the gun," said Forcelli, "from where it's manufactured to the crime, and try to put that puzzle together."

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